Edible Displays: Bean Feast

Pack a group of beans into your plot with bushy dwarf cultivars that are suited to pots and vigorous climbing types trained neatly up stakes.

Runner Beans Make Edible Summer Display

Runner Beans Make Edible Summer Display

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Here, the scarlet flowers and long runner beans of ‘Enorma’ make a bold backdrop alongside mottled pink borlotti beans. The dwarf green bean ‘Pencil Pod Black Wax’ produces slender pods after the mauve flowers, while the compact runner bean ‘Hestia,’ nasturtiums (Tropaeolum), marigolds and lobelia offer more color.

From: DK Books - Fruits and Vegetables

Step 1: Choose Containers

Select containers that are at least 18 inches in diameter for beans and pots that are at least six inches in diameter for flowers. These containers should suit corners of patios and terraces. Use multipurpose or soil-based compost, and ensure the plants receive full sun and are sheltered from wind.

Step 2: Go Shopping

Buy the following plants: five runner bean ‘Enorma’, four dwarf green bean ‘Pencil Pod Black Wax’, three runner bean ‘Hestia’, five borlotti bean ‘Borlotto Lingua di Fuoco’, two nasturtium (Tropaeolum) ‘Peach Melba Superior’ and three French marigolds (Tagetes). 

Step 3: Plant Beans

Sow beans indoors from early to mid- spring, in their final positions in late spring, or buy young plants. Acclimatize plants to outdoor conditions before planting. Check containers have drainage holes and fill with compost up to two inches below the rim. Erect stakes for climbing beans and plant at the base of each stake. Allow about eight inches between dwarf beans and add supports to prop them up when laden with beans. Water well and tie-in climbing beans. Water consistently and feed weekly with a tomato fertilizer when flowers appear.

Next Up

Edible Displays: Tomato and Herb Basket

Squeeze extra growing space into small plots and onto patios with a hanging basket of tomatoes and herbs.

Edible Displays: Mixed Salads

Quick and easy, these colorful salad leaves, herbs and edible flowers will be ready to pick just six weeks after sowing.

Edible Displays: Summer Barbecue Collection

A sunny patio suits these impressive containers which will produce a succession of delicious summer vegetables ideal for the grill.

Edible Displays: Mediterranean Mix

Transform any warm, sunny corner with this exuberant mix of fruiting vegetable crops and flowers.

Edible Displays: Pepper Pots

Spice up a sunny patio or balcony with a colorful collection of chili peppers and sweet peppers.

Edible Displays: Tempting Roots

Vintage wooden crates, terra cotta pots and an old burlap bag combine to form a shabby chic collection of containers for easy-to-grow root crops.

Edible Displays: Kitchen Garden

Large planters offer scope for mingling flowers with vegetables to create a tiny kitchen garden or “potager.”

Edible Gardening in Small Spaces

Make the most of a small garden space by mixing flowers and vegetable plants in an ornamental edible garden.

How to Grow Bean Plants

Green ones, yellow ones, purple ones — who knew there was magic in a bucket of beans? Learn how to grow bean plants in your home garden with this step-by-step guide.

How to Grow an Edible Flower Container Garden

Learn how nasturtiums — edible flowers — can make not only a colorful addition to your home garden but a tasty addition to a salad.